After Apologizing for Anti-Semitic Cartoon, How Impartial is the New York Times Reporting about Israel?

Following the New York Times’ publication of an anti-Semitic cartoon, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda, that depicted the Israeli prime minister as a dog leading a blind, kippah-wearing U.S. president, a mea culpa editorial was published. It acknowledged that “anti-Zionism can clearly serve as a cover for anti-Semitism,” while declaring that  the newspapers’ journalists “have been and remain stalwart supporters of Israel.” Their reporting, the editorial maintained, represents “good-faith criticism” of the Jewish state meant to help it “stay true to its democratic values.”

So let’s see how the self-declared “stalwart supporters of Israel” are covering the latest round of deadly rocketing unleashed on Israeli civilians by Palestinian terror groups.

In what is now a well-documented pattern at the NY Times, an article pretending to be an objective news report editorializes to blame Israel for Palestinian terrorism while suggesting that Palestinian culpability is merely an Israeli allegation. The article by Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger and correspondent Isabel Kershner, entitled “After Intense Fighting in Gaza, Israel and Palestinians Observe Ceasefire,” reports on how the latest salvo of rocketing began:

The outbreak of violence appears to have begun on Friday, when a sniper wounded two Israeli soldiers, a violent but localized expression of Palestinian impatience with Israel’s failure to alleviate dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza. [emphasis added]

The reporters  in their  own voices present the Palestinian terrorists’ justification for attempted murder as self-evident fact. They minimize  Palestinian violence as a “localized expression of…impatience” to be blamed on Israel, rather than the terrorists who initiated the violence.  At the same time, the report characterizes the terror actions against Israel by Palestinians as unsubstantiated Israeli claim:

Ratcheting up its response, Israel blew up a car carrying a Gaza man it said was a terrorist, and published video of that airstrike as a warning to others. It leveled the homes of several militant commanders, saying they were used to store weapons or as operational headquarters, and fired on a number of Palestinians it said were engaged in launching rockets.

It is telling that the only mention of a “war crime” in the entire article is not in relation to the Palestinian terror groups targeting civilians deep inside Israel, but comes in an accusation cited by the reporters against Israel for its military response against terrorists:

Gaza officials continued to accuse Israel of what they called a war crime.

This type of double standard in reporting, where Palestinian talking points are presented as fact while doubt is cast on Israel’s perspective, and where Palestinians are stripped of responsibility for targeting civilians while Israel is blamed for its response against terrorists, continues to characterize  the New York Times’  ongoing bias against Israel.

It raises doubts about the honesty of the New York Times’ mea culpa over its promotion and normalization of anti-Semitism.  Or are editors are so blind to their own anti-Israel bias that they see this article as “good faith criticism of Israel” promoting democratic values? Either way, it is just more evidence that the New York Times, cannot be trusted to provide a truthful and objective account of unfolding news events related to the Jewish state.